Bengals to sign former 49ers WR Trent Taylor

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Former 49ers wide receiver Trent Taylor found a home in free agency. He’s set to sign with the Cincinnati Bengals according to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo.

Taylor was a fifth-round pick of the 49ers out of Louisiana Tech in 2017. He had a promising start to his career when he posted 43 receptions for 430 yards and three touchdowns. His chemistry with Jimmy Garoppolo during Garoppolo’s five starts to close that season made it look like he’d be a reliable slot option for the foreseeable future.

Offseason back surgery derailed Taylor’s second year. He played in 14 games, but struggled to build off his strong rookie campaign. His second year concluded with only 26 receptions for 215 yards and one touchdown.

Injuries were again a factor in Year 3 when Taylor suffered a Jones fracture in his foot during the preseason that required surgery. Complications from that surgery wound up sidelining him for the entire 2019 season.

Taylor managed to play in 12 games last season, but the playing time yielded disappointing results. He caught 10 balls for 86 yards and didn’t look particularly quick or explosive as he struggled to gain separation the way he did as a rookie.

The Bengals this offseason lost their primary punt returner, which may be Taylor’s first job with Cincinnati. He fielded 49 punts for San Francisco and averaged 9.6 yards per return.

The 49ers will face Taylor and the Bengals this season in Week 14 at Cincinnati.